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Missouri Sen. Andrew Koenig On His Tough St. Louis County Reelection Campaign

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Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester, was the Senate handler of the abortion bill that at least two groups want to repeal.
Carolina Hidalgo
St. Louis Public Radio
Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester, is running for a second term in the Missouri Senate. He's seen in this photo speaking at a 2019 press conference.

Sen. Andrew Koenig returns to Politically Speaking to talk with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about his reelection campaign in Missouri’s 15th Senate District.

Koenig represents cities including Ballwin, Manchester, Valley Park and Kirkwood. He’s squaring off against state Rep. Deb Lavender, D-Kirkwood, in a contest most observers believe is the most competitive legislative race in the state this year.

Lavender’s episode of Politically Speaking can be found here.

Here’s what Koenig talked about on the program:

  • Why the previously Republican-leaning 15th District has become competitive in recent years. One theory is that voters in the suburban district have soured on President Donald Trump.
  • Missouri’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly whether the state should adopt a requirement for people to wear masks in particular public situations.
  • Why he sponsored legislation that would have allowed the state's attorney general to intervene in St. Louis homicide cases under certain circumstances.
  • His efforts to figure out a way to tax online retailers in a similar manner to brick-and-mortar businesses. That issue, known as Wayfair because of a court case on the matter, has been a thorny topic of discussion for Missouri lawmakers.

Koenig was first elected to the Missouri House in 2008 and served four terms. He defeated former state Rep. Rick Stream in a highly competitive primary in 2016 for the 15th District seat and easily defeated Democratic candidate Stephen Eagleton in the general election.

Koenig was the Senate handler of a bill prohibiting most abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy, which he discussed in detail last year. He is a member of the Conservative Caucus, a group of Senate Republicans that has often clashed with the GOP leadership’s priorities.

If he's reelected, Koenig can serve through 2024 before term limits prevent him from running for the General Assembly again.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Andrew Koenig on Twitter: @Koenig4MO

Music: “Where the Circle Ends” by Thursday

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.